Lucas Castro got the winner against his old club, as Chievo’s crisis intensified with a 2-1 defeat away to Cagliari.
This was a relegation dogfight and Rolando Maran faced the side that fired him in the final weeks of last season. His replacement, Lorenzo D’Anna, was sacked a couple of weeks ago and Giampiero Ventura made his debut with a 5-1 home thrashing at the hands of Atalanta. Considering Chievo started the campaign with a three-point penalty for false accounting, and it is safe to say this hasn’t been the best start.
Darijo Srna returned from injury for the Sardinians, though Ragnar Klavan, Diego Farias and Lykogiannis were still out. Chievo missed Fabrizio Cacciatore and Nenad Tomovic, although Emanuele Giaccherini was available for a spot on the bench. The Flying Donkeys were still without a victory this season, their worst start since relegation in 2006-07.
Cagliari had only beaten Chievo four times in their total 24 Serie A meetings, with one win and three draws in the last 12 encounters.
The hosts pushed from the start, with a couple of Nicolò Barella long-range efforts, then Leonardo Pavoletti’s acrobatic volley was deflected wide after Joao Pedro charged down a goal kick.
Pavoletti did eventually break through with a trademark header from a Joao Pedro corner, leaping above Bani.
Lucas Castro saw a spectacular over-head kick charged down by Emanuele Giaccherini, but after the restart Giaccherini forced a save from the edge of the box and Riccardo Meggiorini’s header was well held.
Castro scored his first goal in a Cagliari jersey and he did it against his old club, unleashing a rocket from over 20 metres into the near top corner, putting a vicious swerve on it.
Chievo did create some chances as time wore on, but Valter Birsa pulled back from the by-line for Emanuele Giaccherini to horribly balloon over from 12 yards totally unmarked.
The Sardinians didn’t heed the warning and Chievo did get back into the game, as Mariusz Stepinski was allowed a totally free header from close range on Fabio Depaoli’s cross from the right.
However, Cagliari held on to the final whistle and left Chievo on -1 points.
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